On Friday Blizzard's Jay Wilson said that PvP will not be a part of Diablo 3 when the game goes retail (in 2Q12). He said that PvP Arena and its systems aren't living up to their standards in its present form, thus it will be released in a patch following the game's debut. The team felt this was a better option than delaying the entire game and punishing those who merely want to enjoy the campaign and core solo/co-op content.
All of which is just about complete, he adds.
"When the PvP patch is ultimately ready, it will add multiple Arena maps with themed locations and layouts, PvP-centric achievements, and a matchmaking system that will help you and your team get into fairly matched games quickly and easily," he said in a blog. "We’ll also be adding a personal progression system that will reward you for successfully bashing in the other team’s skulls."
Many fans will undoubtedly recognize his uses of hints in the blog, throwing in phrases like "just about complete" and "soon you'll be having a blast." The blog indicates that development is about to wrap up, and even recent reports have slated the PC-based action-RPG to land on April 17 or April 19, depending on who you ask. Officially Blizzard plans to release the game in 2Q12, and so far there doesn't seem to be any signs of a setback.
Still, there may be many fans who will be disappointed that PvP won't be available at launch. "We know a lot of you are looking forward to PvP, and we’ll be focusing our post-launch efforts on making sure the Arenas are as brutal, bloody, fast-paced, and awesome as we know they can be," he said. "In the meantime, we’re in the process of putting the finishing touches on what we think is a truly epic campaign and co-op experience for launch."
Despite the delay, Wilson points out that players will be more prepared for battle once PvP Arena makes its debut, as players will have had plenty of time leveling characters, finding items, learning the classes, and perfecting builds. To some degree, maybe postponing PvP Arena was a good idea after all.
"We’ll have a lot more info to share on the PvP system in the future, and we look forward to the moment we can get the game into your hands," he said.